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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My memories: September 11, 2001

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I woke up in my room, washed up, changed, ate breakfast, and dragged myself to a boring Computer Science lecture that I was sure I would sleep through. It was just another normal weekday morning for me as an undergraduate in a US university.

I arrived at a lecture hall that was more empty than usual, but I figured that everyone had already realised what a boring lecture this was. Later, when the professor said that he wouldn't mind if what few attendees didn't stay for the lecture, I didn't bat an eyelid.

It was only later when I crossed over to the students' union to get lunch that I realised something was wrong. People were everywhere, standing and talking excitedly. And there were television sets at every corner. I peeped at one…

… and saw the tragedy that was happening in New York city.

While I had gone about my usual morning routine, two airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center, while another had collided into the Pentagon. Now I knew why everything seemed more abnormal.

The next lecture was for a mass communication class. The professor suspended his usual lecture and let us talk about the tragic event. He also spoke about some political concepts, one of which I still remember: "rally around the flag". That is, during tragic and uncertain times like this, the people were more likely to support the government, no matter who was in power.

The rest of the day was kind of a blur to me. But that evening, a few of us celebrated a friend's birthday at a deserted restaurant. We hadn't thought twice about calling it off. Even back then, we understood: keep calm and carry on.

That event changed one of my morning habits. From then on, every morning, while eating breakfast, I would pore over the news faithfully to see what had happened or was going on.


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